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A good routine or too much?

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  • A good routine or too much?

    I am currently working out Monday - Friday, concentrating on a different muscle group each day. Depending on the number of exercises I'm performing each day, my workout time will vary. Here is the breakdown:

    Monday - Shoulders (shoulder press, lateral raises, dumbbell press, rear deltoid flys, shrugs) + 5 minutes of HIIT cardio - approximately 1 hour total
    Tuesday - Chest (flat bench press, incline bench press, decline bench press, pectoral flys, pushups on bosu ball) + 5 minutes HIIT cardio - approximately 1 hour total
    Wednesday - Legs (leg press, barbell squats, lunges, calf press) / Abs (oblique twists, crunches, leg lifts, decline bench situps, side bends) - no cardio this day - approximately 1 hour 15 minutes total
    Thursday - Arms (barbell bicep curls, skull crushers, incline seated dumbbell curls, dips, cable hammer curls, close-grip bench press, standing barbell lifts, reverse barbell curls, barbell wrist curls) + 5 minutes HIIT cardio - approximately 1 hour 15 minutes total
    Friday - Back (pull ups, seated row, lat pulldowns, barbell deadlift, bent over barbell row, vertical traction) + 5 minutes HIIT cardio - approximately 1 hour total

    With this routine, each muscle group gets a thorough workout but also a full week of rest.

    Any thoughts on this routine? Too much?

  • #2
    To be completely honest, that's an absolutely terrible routine. Even if you are going for the body-builder look you should focus on movements, like squat, deads, bench, press, and pullups, and add in a little isolation work at the end. You need almost no recovery time for isolation stuff, maybe 48hrs, since it doesn't involve the CNS practically at all.

    If you want to be strong, use Starting Strength. If you want the BB look, add in some isolation. 3 times a week is plenty, maybe an hour at absolute max, probably closer to 30 min.

    Other goals would use other programs.
    Lifting Journal


    • #3
      Even though you're focus is on shoulders/chest and arms/back, I would think that working those groups back-to-back would cause fatigue in your arms. I mean, you still work your arms when you do back you're really overworking the muscles. I'm not an expert on primal fitness, but I'm guessing folks here are going to tell you to do less arm days, focus more on full-body/large muscle group exercises, and designate a day just for sprinting/HIIT.

      My 2 cents.


      • #4
        You can make it waaaay simpler on yourself

        - Press
        - Squats
        - Deadlifts
        - pullups

        cardio on a treadmill isn't terrible - but sprinting outside is probably more useful in terms of results (and takes way less time)
        ad astra per aspera


        • #5
          Well, I do appreciate the honesty. I don't want to over simplify my routine, but clearly the current routine is a major overkill. So, if I change the format a bit, does this sound better?

          Monday, Thursday - upper body (shoulders, arms, back)
          Tuesday, Friday - lower body (abs, legs)
          Wednesday - cardio only


          • #6
            Okay, what if I break it down this way? I looked at any exercises which more or less repeated the actions of another in order to simplify the list more, but still give myself a thorough workout throughout the week while also hopefully allowing for plenty of rest in each area.

            Monday, Thursday (shoulders, chest, arms, back)
            Shoulder press
            Lateral raises
            Rear deltoid flies
            Incline bench press
            Decline bench press
            Skull crushers
            Standing barbell lifts
            Reverse barbell curls
            Stiff leg barbell deadlift

            Tuesday, Friday (legs, abs)
            Barbell squats
            Calf press
            Ab crunches
            Decline bench situps
            Side pull ups

            Wednesday (Legs/Abs)
            Cardio only


            • #7
              You could replace all those isolation exercises on your upper body days (skullcrushers, bench press and lateral raises/flyes)with chinups/pullups and dips.


              • #8
                If the first routine was right for you you'd know without asking anybody.
                At least you're down to intermediate bodybuilding programs now.
                Have you done any lifting?

                beginner bb :
                calf raise
                straight leg deadlift
                overhead press
                tricep ext
                maybe lateral raise

                It's simply too much work to hit every angle from the anatomy books.(unless you're genetic elite on drugs)
                You'll either crash or worse learn to cruise without working hard on each work set

                Hard compounds pull in a lot more than the primary muscle from the anatomy charts.
                eg Post delt won't just sit there during rows and pulldowns.
                Sternal pec has best line of pull on declines but works hard on flat and even incline

                If you're really set on hitting every angle try 1 set each
                Last edited by bcbcbc2; 08-24-2011, 05:45 PM. Reason: kant spel


                • #9
                  I'm not aiming for a bodybuilder look. I just want to give attention to all muscle groups. At 39 and still quite slim, I doubt there would be much hope of me achieving the bodybuilder look even if that was my goal. I just want to be in the best shape of my life and make sure I have as good a routine as possible to get me there. Thanks for the advice.


                  • #10
                    I assumed because those are patently bb routines.

                    check out the free ebook in the first thread in this forum

                    strength philosophy is short full body sessions of a few basic movements.

                    I'd much prefer 3 lift sessions and one sprint/interval cardio over 4 lifting workouts for general fitness.

                    A relatively high variety of exercise certainly isn't a terrible idea. A couple of other ideas:
                    alternate similar exercises across workouts ie flat bench,decline,incline in every 3rd upper body rather than trying to do all 3 every time.
                    if you stick with up/low split consider:
                    m up
                    w lo
                    f up
                    m lo
                    w up
                    f lo


                    • #11
                      Like already said, compound lifts.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
                        To be completely honest, that's an absolutely terrible routine.
                        Haha, awesome. I read that and almost choked on my food. I love brutal honesty.

                        And I agree. @ jpatrickclark... you're focusing way too much on isolation exercises. Given that you: are not going for the bodybuilder look, are mainly interested in optimal strength/fitness, and seem to lean toward free-weight training, I would suggest doing what everyone else has already said. Namely, focus on the big, compound lifts, work out hard twice a week (3 time at the most), and get a sprint day in there too.


                        • #13
                          bcbcbc2 is on the money - you need to figure out exactly what it is that you want before trying to construct a programme. Forget about the idea of "giving attention to all your muscles" - you'll just get caught up in trying to include an exercise for everything. 1-2 compound moves per muscle group at high intensity or (and better IMO) focus on some key movements like the squat and deadlift. You've got to ask yourself - how hard did you work in the last set on the last exercise of each day? That kind of volume requires either pacing or a reduction in performance.
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                          • #14
                            Okay, I'll be very clear as to what I'm aiming for.


                            Last edited by jpatrickclark; 08-25-2011, 08:02 AM.


                            • #15
                              "No...." uses a whole lotta roids and is probably a mesomorph to boot.